5 Reasons Why You Should Carry Paracord in Your EDC

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Paracord. You’ve probably seen it in countless EDCs (they’re almost ubiquitous in outdoorsy ones) in various shapes, colors, and sizes. It’s the community’s favorite cordage, found in the form of lanyards, bracelets, keychains, and much more. In this Carry Smarter guide, you’ll learn more about what paracord is, what makes its ideal for EDC, and some great ways to incorporate some into your everyday carry.

This post was updated February 7, 2022.

Some background on EDC’s favorite cordage…

550 Parachute cord, more commonly shortened as paracord, is widely used in tons of everyday carry situations. The “550” is derived from the fact that it’s rated to hold 550 lbs.

Paracord is a slim nylon rope with 7-9 inner strands of nylon. Composed of 2-3 threads, the inner strands and can be unraveled for many different uses.

This versatile material was originally used for suspension lines on parachutes. It’s been issued to several military branches due to its versatility in a variety of situations. Paracord was even used by astronauts to help repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

The cord was strictly used in the military, but after World War II it became available to civilians as military surplus. Since its release to the public, paracord has been used for a variety of survival, retention, and rigging applications.

There are several different types of paracord out there, the best of which is MILSPEC rated. This type has a stronger inner core with more strands inside.

5 Reasons to Carry Paracord

  1. It’s Invaluable in Emergency Situations

    Arguably the most common reason why people carry paracord is for its use in emergency situations. Rig a shelter by tying branches together when there’s nowhere else to sleep. Cut the cord, pull out the inner threads, attach a hook and you have a makeshift fishing line. Break a bone while out in the bush? Use the cord and a stiff branch to fashion a splint until you can seek further medical help. Simple sprain? It’s easy to make a sling to keep weight off the hurt appendage. If the situation is really serious, use the cord as a tourniquet to stop bleeding.

  2. It Gives a Good Grip

    If it’s not an emergency sitution, paracord can still come in handy. The material is slightly elastic. This allows for easy and snug wrapping around EDC gear. Some small fixed blade knives employ a skelteon frame handle. Wrapping a length of paracord around it not only provides grip, but keeps an unbroken length of the material at hand.


  3. It Personalizes Your Carry in a Practical Way

    Paracord is available in a huge range of colors and patterns, allowing you to accessorize and personalize your EDC. It can be used to set off a certain color theme or let you carry your own DIY handiwork. At its core, it still provides the functionality of paracord.

  4. It Makes Retrieving Gear from Your Pocket Easier

    Most knives have a lanyard hole, and paracord is the perfect match for it. A paracord lanyard is great if you’d prefer to carry a pocket knife without a clip. It’s as easy as slipping some through the hole and tying it off. With some knot-tying skills, you can whip up lanyards of different shapes and patterns to carry more cordage or fine tune extra material for grip on your tool. Pulling on this extra length can produce gear from your pocket more conveniently than digging around for it, while still keeping a low profile carry.

  5. It Adds Visibility to Your Essentials

    Brightly colored paracord increases visibility, making your essentials easier to find and harder to lose. This is especially useful in bags, pouches, and organizers with interiors that don’t contrast your gear.

How to EDC It

While long lengths of paracord consume a lot of space, there are efficient ways to EDC smaller amounts. It’s not hard to make a “survival bracelet” out of paracord and a clip. 

If you’re not feeling crafty, they’re available from several companies pre-made in tons of colors. Use similar braiding methods to make belts, camera straps, keychains and more. 

It’s not uncommon to see paracord used in place of bootlaces. If you have some room to spare in your bug out bag, throw in a hank of paracord and keep it organized with a carabiner. 

Keeping a spare length in the trunk of your car makes it easy to tie down large packages that are too big to close the trunk on.

MIL-C-5040-H Paracord

First place to start is the paracord itself. It’s available in a dozen colors in multiple lengths. Whether it’s olive drab green or bright orange, there’s sure to be an option for everyone. This particular cord is made to MIL-C-5040-H specs, meaning it’s the toughest out there. It’s tested for 750lbs of breaking force, making it ideal for every EDC situation.

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The Friendly Swede Trilobite Paracord Bracelet

The Friendly Swede has done all of the work for you with their Trilobite paracord bracelets. Available in several colors and sporting a heavy duty shackle closure mechanism, this bracelet packs a lot of paracord in a small package. This weaving method makes the cord more easily retrievable than other braiding methods, allowing you access to the cord as soon as you need it.

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The Spool Tool

The Spool Tool is the ultimate solution for carrying and finishing paracord. Wrap up to 100 feet of cord around the spool and use the integrated tools for cord finishing. There’s a razor blade for cutting and a holder for a small lighter for finishing the frayed ends of the cord. Made of light weight plastic, the frame lessens the impact on your EDC.

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Izule ESEE Knife / Survival Kit

The Izula by ESEE is a popular EDC blade with an open frame handle, making it well-suited for paracord wrapping. This survival kit includes a black powder coated knife, a length of paracord, a cord lock, several split rings, a frustrater rod, an emergency whistle and a plastic snap hook. This is everything you’d need should something go wrong.

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To Wrap It Up…

We’ve shown you what paracord is, why it can be useful in everyday situations, and some great ways to carry it. If you’ve been on the fence about adding some paracord to your EDC, there are several easy ways to do so. Whether you’re wearing a paracord bracelet or keep a 100’ hank in your trunk, this cordage is sure to come in handy. Do you already incorporate paracord into your EDC? Let us know how and why in the comments below!

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